A proposed bill concerning the sharing of intelligence to combat cyber crime in the US has been criticised by civil rights campaigners and journalists. The "Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act" (CISPA) sets out to to regulate which potentially confidential information can be shared between government agencies – such as the intelligence services and investigative authorities – and the private sector.
The House of Representative's Intelligence Committee approved the controversial bill by a large majority in December, but the chamber's representatives still need to vote on it. Read more...
The U.S. Congress should scrap two controversial copyright enforcement bills and start over with attempts to target foreign websites accused of infringement and counterfeiting, more than 70 groups have said.
With widespread concerns about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), Congress needs to "take a breath, step back, and approach the issues from a fresh perspective," the groups said in a letter to lawmakers, sent Monday.
Among the groups signing the letter were Amnesty International, the American Library Association, Consumers Union, Public Knowledge, Fight for the Future and Human Rights Watch. Many of the groups signing the letter have opposed SOPA and PIPA. The letter comes as the lead sponsor of PIPA has indicated he wants to move forward with copyright enforcement legislation. Read more...
Hey! Remember our nation's 24-hour nightmare last month when we were forced to live a whole day without easy access to Wikipedia, Reddit, BoingBoing and other popular websites that went dark for 24 hours to protest anti-piracy legislation?
In the end, U.S. lawmakers agreed to withdraw the SOPA and PIPA bills, legislation that free speech advocates and tech companies said would crush Internet freedom and inspire frivolous lawsuits. Well, don't exhale just yet. There's still the Anti-Counterfeiting Trademark Agreement (ACTA) in Europe floating around, and on Feb. 11, Access, a "new global movement for digital freedom," wants to mobilize people all over the world to protest what the group and others see as a threat to free speech, human rights, innovation and trade.
What exactly is ACTA? Well, that's a huge part of the problem. Signed by the EU and 22 of its 27 member states on Jan. 27, the exact details of this act are known only to those involved. Read more...
The RIAA has been one of the most dedicated supporters of the PIPA and SOPA bills, but not all of the people they represent share their enthusiasm. EMI’s VP of Urban Promotions Craig Davis made some very reasonable remarks on the controversial anti-piracy plans, stating that “the method they’re using is incorrect.” In addition, the VP says that he’s no fan of DRM and that piracy is a service issue, not an issue of money.
In recent weeks millions of people have spoken out against the pending PIPA and SOPA anti-piracy bills, which have both been delayed as a result.
Today we can add a VP at one of the major RIAA labels to this list, which is quite unique and yet another game changer.
Speaking for himself, EMI’s VP of Urban Promotions Craig Davis said that the two pending anti-piracy bills are not the way to move forward. Read more...
WASHINGTON -- Caving to a massive campaign by Internet services and their millions of users, Congress indefinitely postponed legislation Friday to stop online piracy of movies and music costing U.S. companies billions of dollars every year. Critics said the bills would result in censorship and stifle Internet innovation.
The demise, at least for the time being, of the anti-piracy bills was a clear victory for Silicon Valley over Hollywood, which has campaigned for a tougher response to online piracy. The legislation also would cover the counterfeiting of drugs and car parts.
Congress' qualms underscored how Internet users can use their collective might to block those who want to change the system.
The battle over the future of the Internet also played out on a different front Thursday when a loose affiliation of hackers known as "Anonymous" shut down Justice Department websites for several hours and hacked the site of the Motion Picture Association of America after federal officials issued an indictment against Megaupload.com, one of the world's biggest file-sharing sites. Read more...
Sen. Patrick Leahy, (D-VT), the lead sponsor of the controversial Protect IP Act (PIPA), today criticized the "knee-jerk' reaction of fellow senators to this week's protests against the bill, and vowed to press forward with it.
In response to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) decision this morning to delay a scheduled Jan. 24 cloture vote on PIPA, Leahy said he remains committed to dealing with the problem of online piracy.
"I understand and respect Majority Leader Reid's decision to seek consent to vitiate cloture on the motion to proceed to the Protect IP Act," Leahy said in a statement. "But the day will come when the Senators who forced this move will look back and realize they made a knee-jerk reaction to a monumental problem."
A cloture vote is designed to overcome a filibuster of a bill by placing a limit on the amount of time the Senate can consider the measure. Read more...
The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act are getting more negative attention, as major websites such as Wikipedia protest the bills with blackouts on Wednesday. Even Google joined the action, with a link on its homepage explaining why the company opposes the legislation.
But what are SOPA and PIPA, exactly, and why are tech luminaries lambasting legislation aimed at stamping out copyright infringement? Read on for a full explanation.
SOPA and PIPA: The basics
Media companies are always looking for new ways to fight piracy. They've tried suing individual users, getting Internet service providers to take action against subscribers, and working with the U.S. government to shut down domains based in the United States. But none of those actions can stop overseas websites such as The Pirate Bay and MegaUpload from infringing copyrights, or prevent Internet users from accessing those sites. Read more...
Supporters of SOPA and PIPA, two bills that aim to deter piracy, claim that they will only affect foreign sites and businesses. However, this view is not shared by a wide range of opponents, including the people behind the popular Reddit community. But how exactly can SOPA and PIPA threaten sites like Reddit? Leading First Amendment lawyer and Internet policy expert Marvin Ammori explains.
In recent weeks, protests against the pending SOPA and PIPA bills have dominated the tech press. Most opponents are not that worried about losing access to their favorite file-sharing sites, but they fear that the broader implications of the bills will seriously hurt the livelihoods of both existing and future Internet-based ventures.
One of the most prominent sites that has rallied against the bills is the largest online community Reddit. The site’s users have organized various successful protests, which led domain registrar GoDaddy to drop its support for the bill. But the site itself also actively encouraged its users to speak out against SOPA and PIPA on several occasions. Read more...